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Discourse and Narrative Methods

Discourse and Narrative Methods
Theoretical Departures, Analytical Strategies and Situated Writings

April 2015 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Discourses and narratives are crucial in how we understand a world of rapid changes. This textbook constitutes a unique introduction to two major influential theoretical and methodological fields - discourse and narrative methods - and examines them in their interrelation. It offers readers an orientation within the broad and contested area of discourse and narrative methods and develops concrete analytical strategies to those who wish to explore both or one of these fields as well as their overlaps.

Illustrated with examples from real life and real research, this book: 

  • Maps the theoretical influence from poststructuralist, postmodern, postcolonial and feminist ideas on the field of discourse and narrative.
  • Acts as a guide to the most central analytical approaches in discourse and narrative studies supported by concrete examples of analytical strategies.
  • Presents a variety of oral, textual, visual and other ’data’ for the purpose of analyzing discourse and narrative.
  • Offers deeper insight into discourse and narrative methods within three themes of crucial importance for changing global context: media and society, gender and space, and autobiography and life writing.
  • Acts as a helpful guide to situated writing based on concrete workshop exercises, which promotes ethical reflexivity, analytical thinking and creative engagement in the study of discourses and narratives.
PART I: Introducing Discourse and Narrative Methods
Chapter 1. The Becoming of a Textbook. A Readers Guide
Chapter 2. Theoretical and Methodological Departures in Contested Fields of Study
Chapter 3. Themes: Media and Society, Gender and Space, Autobiography and Life Writing
PART II: Narrative and Discourse: Making Connections
Chapter 4. Narrative Phenomena: Entanglements and Intra-Actions in Narrative Research
Chapter 5. Discourse, Authoring and Performativity
Chapter 6. Narrative Modalities of Power
Chapter 7. Discourse, Power and Representation
Chapter 8. Narrative as force
Chapter 9. Discourses as Embodied Genealogies
Chapter 10. Narrative and the Political
PART III: Situated and Reflective Writing Sessions
Chapter 11. A Politics of Location in Discourse and Narrative Methods
Chapter 12. Working with Diaries and Letters
Chapter 13. Working with Memories
Chapter 14. Untimely Academic Novella Writing

Discourse and Narrative Methods interrogates the debates on narrative and discourse from a fresh and powerful perspective. By revitalizing the post-structuralist feminist theory, Livholts and Tamboukou generate veritable canons of their own, foregrounding such authors as Hannah Arendt, Adriana Cavarero and Judith Butler. The idea of narrative as force, in particular, is intriguing and deserves further discussion.  Diary, letters, autobiography and memory work are only few examples of the areas where the methods are tested.  This is indeed an inspiring exercise in theory, analysis and personal writing.

Matti Hyvärinen
Professor of Sociology, University of Tampere

We have long needed a good book about how to do discourse analysis and narrative research – and this is it. Livholts and Tamboukou have written a book that is comprehensive, accessible and most importantly practical. It is an invaluable resource for students and teachers of research methods – covering the whole research process from theoretical underpinnings through data collection and analysis.

Stephen Ball
Karl Mannheim Professor of Sociology of Education, Institute of Education, University of London

This book draws together the domains of discourse and narrative theorizing and research methodologies, in a comprehensive and comprehensible way, without offering easy answers to the perennial reductionist question: “What is the difference between narrative and discourse?” Instead, the dialogical structure of the text mirrors the connections and diffractions between the two approaches, offering us the distinct voices of two writers whose work is sometimes in synergy and interwoven, and at other times, departs along parallel lines to explore different terrains. The text is a wonderful contribution in the best tradition of feminist scholarship; a blend of personal stories, political commitments to social justice, and rigorous theorizing.

Jill Bradbury
Professor, School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersand

Lively and engaging, this book opens up powerful new approaches for understanding and enacting discourse and narrative methods. Drawing on their own research experiences, and working with examples of data from across themes of gender and space, media and society, and autobiographical writing, the authors effortlessly blend analysis of theoretical and social contexts with valuable, practical research strategies. Exploring differences and connections across narrative and research methods, Livholts and Tamboukou offer dazzling insights as well as welcome guidance for the beginner and experienced researcher alike. With its compelling storylines and clear-sighted accounts, this book simply stands apart from stock-standard methods textbooks and will fast become a classic reference for anyone grappling with the richness of these methods.

Julie McLeod
Professor, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne

A book full of insights, theoretical trails for students to follow, and voluminous references to the diversity of scholarly work informing narrative and discourse. Livholts and Tamboukou provide an important corrective to overly pragmatic books that emphasizes the “doing” of a narrative study. They invite us to think deeply about talk and text, visual image and power, and to interrogate our situated positions as researchers - essential components of good scholarly work.

Catherine Riessman
Professor Emerita, Boston University

it gives a good overview on these methods

Ms Corina Van Doodewaard
School of Education, Windesheim University
December 8, 2015

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ISBN: 9781446269701
ISBN: 9781446269695

SAGE Research Methods is a research methods tool created to help researchers, faculty and students with their research projects. SAGE Research Methods links over 175,000 pages of SAGE’s renowned book, journal and reference content with truly advanced search and discovery tools. Researchers can explore methods concepts to help them design research projects, understand particular methods or identify a new method, conduct their research, and write up their findings. Since SAGE Research Methods focuses on methodology rather than disciplines, it can be used across the social sciences, health sciences, and more.

With SAGE Research Methods, researchers can explore their chosen method across the depth and breadth of content, expanding or refining their search as needed; read online, print, or email full-text content; utilize suggested related methods and links to related authors from SAGE Research Methods' robust library and unique features; and even share their own collections of content through Methods Lists. SAGE Research Methods contains content from over 720 books, dictionaries, encyclopedias, and handbooks, the entire “Little Green Book,” and "Little Blue Book” series, two Major Works collating a selection of journal articles, and specially commissioned videos.